As I presently find myself with some “free” time (I’m not exactly free, but not exactly occupied… my students will understand what I’m doing!) I have a chance to deliver a veritable festival of links.
– First and foremost I must mention the Sydney riots. Clearly they are significant as an article from James Jupp in The Australian made it to the top of the Blogdex overnight. My own response has been one of disgust for both perpetrators and the vigilante response. Every now and then, members of the extreme right wing minority in Australia raise their ugly heads and call for a kind of nationalism that is nothing short of racist. I despair of the progress of a society that is still so backward. If race, cultural practices, religion, or sex are still forming a basis for discrimination, then society is simply barbarous. And don’t give me that crap about poor behaviour at the beach. If people are misbehaving, there is always the option of calling the police in the short term, and writing to Council to recommend beach monitoring in the longer term. It’s just illegal to cause a public nuisance so proper procedures should always be followed. This is just an excuse to marginalise a section of society. I’m sure there are bad eggs on both sides, but it’s for the police and courts to sort that out, not a vigilante movement. It’s enough to make me sick. Although I was rather interested in how right David Flint got it when he said the blame for this racially-motivated conflict should be placed very firmly on talkback radio.
– On a more positive note, I’m glad to see that we are back on good trade terms with Malaysia after the departure of Mahatir. Malaysia is a robust and interesting economy with which Australia could have strong business ties. Let’s hope the relationship goes beyond rhetoric.
– On a rather bizarre note, I was surprised how much my blog is actually worth. Apparently I could get about US$6,209.94 for it. Nice little earner. But here again, it’s not exactly a fortune either. You all need to link to me more for that 😉
– I just love the idea of mining energy from lightning. Now there’s a business that Queenslanders would do well to consider. Given that a strong proportion of our current “wet season” consists of evening storms, with heaps of lightning, this has got to be a great business prospect! Okay the technique of capturing energy has not been perfected… details, details!
– And there’s something creepily Matrix-esque in the idea of getting spider-like machines to build solar satellites, but it’s rather cool, all the same!
– For all those cynics who think Wikipedia is unreliable, a Nature Magazine study has found the community-driven encyclopedia is remarkably accurate on science related entries. Okay it’s still not sufficient as a resource to be cited in scholarly works as “accurate”, but as a launchpad for discovery on a topic – any topic – Wikipedia can be a fabulous starting point in research. Students please note: you DO need to find alternative materials to back up any data found in Wikipedia.
– And finally, Engadget is reporting on the first iPod based tool which permits payment. Cool. I do like the idea of a retail clerk asking, “Will that be cash, credit or iPod?”.
A definitive link fest! And of course, my IT-geek readers out there should all visit ITConversations on a regular basis just to keep up with the world of technology!